Friday, August 1, 2008

Rose in the cap remembers Seven Years’ War glory against France

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers prepared yesterday to commemorate one of the greatest victories of the Seven Years’ War against France more than 200 years ago, with a traditional gesture - wearing red and primrose-yellow roses in their caps on guard at Buckingham Palace.

En route to take part in the Battle of Minden on August 1, 1759, in the area of North Rhine in Germany, allied soldiers from a Prussian-Hanoverian-British army gathered roses for their hats for good luck as they marched through the fields towards the superior French force. Among them were members of the 20th Regiment of Foot from which The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was formed.

Today, after successive operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 2nd Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Merriman, will honour the battle, when the allies defeated the French against all the odds, by wearing roses while they carry out their Palace duties.

A misunderstanding of orders in battle led to a British infantry brigade advancing against the massed ranks of French cavalry and infantry - but the British succeeded in driving them off. The 20th Regiment of Foot lost 17 officers and 304 men.

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